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Published: 2010-02-11 00:00:00

Environment Waikato says the $65,000 fine imposed today on the Crafar company Hillside Ltd is appropriate for the offending involved.

The company was fined today in the Hamilton District Court on four charges involving three of improper disposal of effluent and one charge of breaching an abatement notice directing the company to cease the unlawful discharges at its property at Kuratau, near Turangi.

"The uncontrolled overflows of effluent at the property had strong potential to contribute to the cumulative impacts of agricultural nutrients on water quality," said Rob Dragten, EW's compliance and education manager.

"The discharges on this farm were completely contrary to the efforts that the majority of farmers in the Lake Taupo catchment are making to protect the water quality of the iconic lake."

Mr Dragten acknowledged the company was in receivership but said EW was hopeful the company would be able to comply with the court's order to pay the fine.

Late last year, EW withdrew charges against the Crafar brothers, Allan and Frank, and Allan's wife Elizabeth, as well as a sharemilker and his company, when Hillside pleaded guilty to the four charges.

"Given Hillside's guilty plea, plus the fact the Crafars had recently been convicted of similar charges and were in strained financial circumstances, EW decided to spare the ratepayer the costs of an expensive court process against the individuals that would provide little additional community benefit."